The On Deck Circle

Baseball History, Commentary and Analysis

Baseball’s Top 40 Players, Age 25 Or Under

You can’t help but notice all the young talent on baseball rosters these days.  There has certainly been a changing of the guard, especially among pitchers, over the past few seasons.  Just try to name a dozen active pitchers age 32 or over that are still experiencing success in the Majors.  I think you’ll find it challenging.

I decided, for my own benefit, to draw up a list of the best players currently on MLB rosters who are no older than 25.  I want to make it clear that this is not a list of baseball’s top prospects.  Mets fans won’t, for example, find either Zach Wheeler or Travis D’Arnoud on this list, nor will Cardinals fans spot Oscar Taveras’s name.  This is a list of players who are actually active and contributing (to varying degrees) on MLB rosters.  I think you’ll be familiar with many of these names, though most are far from being household names at this early point in their respective careers.

I listed the players by position, and also included their current age, and the team they play for.  None of these players will turn 26-years old until at least this August at the earliest.  Several of them are much younger than 25, as you will see.  As you scan the list of 40 names, see how many of these players you recognize.

1B  Freddie Freeman – Braves, age 23

1B  Eric Hosmer – Royals, age 23

1B  Anthony Rizzo – Cubs, age 23

1B  Matt Adams – Cardinals, age 24

1B  Paul Goldschmidt – Diamondbacks, age 25

2B  Jose Altuve – Astros, age 23

3B  Manny Machado – Orioles, age 20

3B  Brett Lawrie – Blue Jays, age 23

3B  Will Middlebrooks – Red Sox, age 24

3B  Kyle Seager – Mariners, age 24

SS  Starlin Castro – Cubs, age 23

SS  Andrelton Simmons – Braves, age 23

SS  Elvis Andrus – Rangers, age 24

C   Salvador Perez – Royals, age 23

C   Wil Rosario – Rockies, age 24

OF  Bryce Harper – Nationals, age 20

OF  Mike Trout – Angels, age 21

OF  Jason Heyward – Braves, age 23

OF  Giancarlo Stanton – Marlins, age 23

OF  Starling Marte – Pirates, age 24

OF  Travis Snider – Pirates, age 25

OF  Justin Upton – Braves, age 25

SP  Jose Fernandez – Marlins, age 20

SP  Shelby Miller – Cardinals, age 22

SP  Madison Bumgarner  – Giants, age 23

SP  Chris Sale – White Sox, age 24

SP  Matt Moore – Rays, age 24

SP  Matt Harvey – Mets, age 24

SP  Jose Quintana – White Sox, age 24

SP  Neftali Feliz – Rangers, age 24

SP  Steven Strasburg – Nationals, age 24

SP  Jhoulys Chacin – Rockies, age 25

SP  Clayton Kershaw – Dodgers, age 25

SP  Matt Latos – Reds, age 25

SP  Mike Minor – Braves, age 25

RP  Addison Reed – White Sox, age 24

RP  Kenley Jansen – Dodgers, age 25

RP  Craig Kimbrel – Braves, age 25

RP  Bryan Shaw – Indians, age 25

RP  Drew Storen – Nationals, age 25

What an amazing list of names.  The quality of pitchers and outfielders is especially impressive.  How many of these players will go on to enjoy Hall of Fame careers?  Certainly, several of these players will appear in more than a couple of All-Star games.  Some will see their careers shortened, or derailed altogether, by injuries.  Others will simply flame out after a few good seasons.  But they, along with the other prospects that baseball keeps churning out, are baseball’s future.  And seldom in baseball’s long history has that future looked brighter.

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11 thoughts on “Baseball’s Top 40 Players, Age 25 Or Under

  1. you could probably fill up half the pitcher’s list with nothing but cardinals. drives me bonkers!

  2. Great list. We’ll see what happens with Jansen. I’m normally optimistic–sometimes blindly so, but I don’t see him as having a long life in the bigs. I’m wrong all the time, though.

    And Starlin Castro is a pretty cool name, but how much cooler would it be if he just dropped that L and became STALIN Castro. SWEET!

    • Hey Smak, As far as relievers are concerned, few of them ever have long and significantly successful careers, so the odds are with you regarding your analysis of Jansen. Somehow, I never noticed the possibility of Stalin Castro! Guess I’m not the budding socialist some people think I am.
      Thanks for checking in, man.

  3. Nice list. However, I would not have put Feliz on there as a starting pitcher. While he excelled as a closer (and I still think he would be great as a middle reliever), he is not a good starter. His record shows that he has about four really great innings. After that, he is pretty much done. I fear the Rangers ruined him by trying to make a starter out of him. He has yet to come back from his injuries.

    • Jeff, I think you’re right about that. I only listed him as a starter because that’s what he was doing at the time of his injury. But I do agree with you that if he’s going to be great, it’ll probably have to be as a relief pitcher.
      Nice catch,

  4. And this doesn’t even include guys like Profar and Gerrit Cole and Miguel Sano and so on and so forth. There are some young studs in this game right now.

    • It’s a great time to be a baseball fan, but I get the impression sometimes that lots of people are so jaded by the steroid issue that they just don’t want to get too hooked on this new crop of young players. Also, it seems to me that at least some older baseball fans would rather reminisce about the old days than pay much attention to what’s going on in the game today. Their loss.

  5. As usual not a single Dodgers hitter (but 2 pitchers). Maybe they could trade for Stanton. God, I hate to see him wasted in Miami.
    Nice list, Bill

    • Dodgers always seem to come up with the pitching, but yeah, Stanton sure could use a change of scenery. It would cost some team a bundle of prospects to go out and get him, though.
      Thanks, V

  6. Sean Breslin on said:

    Great list…great to see so many Braves on there. They’re a young, exciting bunch!

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